This happens like clockwork once every few months. A perfectly nice Halloween costume manufacturer sends us the latest disguises based on [insert upcoming $150-million movie's name here] and we have an ethical obligation to make fun of them.

It's not the fault of the designers. I bet there was an idealistic intern out there who burnt the midnight oil trying to make the Sinestro mask not look an anal polyp (said intern failed, incidentally).

It's the simple fact that store-bought Halloween costumes are the most meritless art form ever invented. No cosplay contest anywhere has a category honoring "The Best Costume Purchased At Party City." These branded tarps make an otherwise sane adult look like he A.) wandered off the set of a superhero parody porno; or B.) owns an unlicensed RV with shorn-off license plates and a smokehouse where the bedroom should be.


The only people who can wear store-bought Halloween costumes with a modicum of dignity are babies and dogs, and they don't even count. Dogs are an entirely different species altogether. Babies are, like, fractional people. "Peo," if you will.

Anyhow, here's a sartorial critique of the Amazing Spider-Man and Avengers costumes hitting stores sometime this year. Remember, the easiest and cheapest way to gain Hulkish verisimilitude is to paint your body green. Puny humans won't leave you alone.

First off, we have Nick Fury, which is a zero-effort costume normally. $1 eyepatch + cheap cigar + Eisenhower's favorite cuss words. Buy this costume if you want the S.H.I.E.L.D. regulation peacoat, which — for that extra "secret agent" twist — doubles as an emergency prophylactic.

I have no idea how they did it, but this minimalist Hawkeye costume makes his fandango Wolverine mask look tasteful. This looks like the uniform for the unaired Aryan Nation version of American Gladiators.

And who could forget the time Professor Bruce Banner accidentally gamma-irradiated his award-winning asparagus risotto?

Like a reverse mullet, Thor is party on the top and business on the bottom. I had zero clue Asgardians wore slacks.

If you wear this Loki costume, chances are your less comic-literate compatriots will mistake you for "Bullman" or a Satanic crossing guard.

It's not the world's worst Black Widow costume, but this look is less "flame-tressed czarina of espionage" and more "local oblast's pantsuit-clad vice-deputy minister of millet production."

This wig required the scalps of no less than three Mr. Big fan club members.

I've had dreams about getting assaulted by Lord Humongousesque gangs of nomads wearing bootleg Spider-Man costumes. But that's just me. Also, the horizontal lines guide the eyes directly toward the crotch. Again, that's just me.

Spoiler Alert: The bite of a radioactive arachnid unexplainably transforms your xyphoid process into a Christmas ornament.

Is this a costume, or did a Dane Cook fan who misinterprets every joke stumble into the photo shoot? Either way, everything about this photo is completely inexcusable.

[Via Costume Craze here and here]